7 Tips for Paid Search on Legal Services Campaigns

Published: June 13, 2017  by  and

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When you think of marketing campaigns for law offices, what’s the first thought that comes to mind? Is it the billboards you see along the interstate with horribly catchy taglines? Or is it the late night commercials asking if “you or a loved one have been injured” in some horrific way?

Marketing has changed over the years, and traditional legal marketing tactics won’t get the attention of today’s consumer. That’s why we’re giving you tips from BigWing’s Paid Search and Display Team Lead, Adam Kutner, to help you soar above the rest in digital marketing and avoid cliché marking tactics.

1.  Be Prepared for the Expense

When you’re ready to dive into Pay per Click (PPC) advertising, we want you to be prepared for the expense of targeting those highly sought-out keywords. Legal keywords in Google Ads are among the most expensive keywords across the internet.

Whether you’re looking at specific keywords such as “attorney for mesothelioma” or something more generic such as “lawyer”, you’re going to be paying for terms ranked among the most expensive in existence. Take a look at this graphic from WordStream, breaking down the 20 most expensive keywords in Google for more information.

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2. Use Relevant Keywords

We recommend performing ongoing maintenance with your keywords. A common practice here at BigWing is that we group keywords by relevance and keep our keywords well-organized based on performance.

People search themselves in Google to see how others are talking about them or what potential clients are seeing when they are searching. Lawyers and legal firms are no different. Controlling your keyword matching is crucial to make sure you block and filter keywords from other firms, as well as specific names that do not produce any valuable results for you.

Photo of Adam Kutner discussing the need to update keywords for legal PPC campaigns

3. Expect Long Lead Times

In the legal field, don’t expect conversions to come over night. Sometimes it takes 60 days or more for a lead to become a client. Just because you aren’t seeing results fast, doesn’t mean your campaign won’t pay off. Be patient and keep a close eye on your campaigns for changes in the future.

“The more expensive the keyword, the longer the lead time—the more it’s worth though in the end,” Adam says.

4. Update Content to Compete Nationally

Most large firms who compete nationally for large cases have tons of cash to spend on advertising. They often only hire one lawyer in a state to be able to claim they have a “local” office. However, the people running the actual case could be from another state and have little or no understanding of your state’s policies.

These are the people you are up against when trying to bid on keywords, and their pockets run deep. Continually update your content to give people what they need to know when they do arrive on your site. If someone clicks on your ad, and you don’t have the content they want, you will have a higher bounce rate and your price per click to be more expensive.

5. Use Correct Terms and Build Trust

Talking about careers in the legal field can be tricky. Words like “specialist” and “expert” mean something more when talking about a lawyer. Specialists, experts, and super lawyers are required to take classes, pay for certifications, or a combination of both before using those words.

Make sure whoever does your copywriting and content marketing has done the research for your specific industry and understands what words not to use. Building relationships with your potential clients through your website is important, but that trust can be shattered if your content leads to unmet expectations.

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6. Comply with HIPAA

Injury law practices handle cases that discuss the client’s sensitive health information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a set of national standards for the protection of certain health information.

Make sure anyone involved in marketing for a law firm understands HIPAA policies and your standard operating guidelines when dealing with sensitive information. Here at BigWing, this means every person is trained in HIPAA policies to ensure the highest quality of work without the worry of a violation.

Responsibility for violations can fall on the legal firm as well as the marketer involved. It can cost more than $1 million dollars and up to 10 years in prison if you are convicted of violating the policies for personal gain or malicious reasons.

7. Pay Attention to Wording

You’ve been told your entire life to be careful of the words you say. However, it’s never been truer than when you are buying digital ads for your legal practice. If you want your ads to reach the people who need you, there are rules about inappropriate content to keep in mind.

Using fear to scare someone into contacting you is against Google’s rules. Also, your ads will not be allowed if you are attempting to target people based on their personal hardships. People don’t want to be reminded of their sickness or injuries, therefore it is area subject that ads – as well as the destinations those ads lead to – should not discuss.

Any content in an ad or its destination seen as exploiting a sensitive event can also be banned. Sensitive events include natural disasters, deaths, and other conflicts.

Bonus Tip: Choosing a Paid Search Partner

You gain a lot when partnering with an experienced PPC agency, especially one that has experience working in legal services, like us. We keep up with the latest trends and have a dedicated team that only focuses on PPC services.

Read our blog about applying creativity to PPC and display advertising for more tips and ideas.